Victim Assistance

The Victim Assistance Unit in the Johnson County District Attorney’s office was established in 1978 in an effort to create a more compassionate and inclusive response for victims and witness involved within the criminal justice system. The clients served by this unit are victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, homicide, DUI, and all other crimes against person and property. The needs of each victim are unique to their individual circumstances.


The unit provides the following in all criminal and juvenile cases:

  • Information packets and subsequent notification of all court hearings,
  • Crisis intervention and referrals,
  • Witness fee and mileage reimbursement forms for subpoenaed court appearances,
  • Case status updates,
  • Accompaniment to court,
  • Information and clarification regarding court proceedings,
  • General legal terms,
  • Supply information regarding Protection from Abuse and Protection from Stalking Orders,
  • Notify victims of upcoming parole and public comment sessions,
  • Coordinates the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART),
  • Provides community education and public awareness presentations,
  • Provides domestic violence training for law enforcement,
  • Coordinates a Juvenile Victim Impact Panel.

Victim Support

The successful prosecution of a crime would be impossible without the support and cooperation of crime victims and witnesses. The District Attorney’s Office seeks to provide assistance and open communication to enable victims and witnesses to feel included and increase cooperation.

The unit as a whole provides general information about the criminal process, the role of the victim and/or witnesses, unit and community services, and specific information regarding the status of a case.

Criminal Restitution

The District Attorney’s Office works diligently to ensure victims of crime have the opportunity to receive monetary compensation for their loss due to the commission of a crime. Upon conviction, the court may require the defendant to pay restitution as part of the sentencing orders. This restitution is provided to victims via the circuit court clerk’s office, ensuring further privacy for victims.

In addition, victims may also apply for the Kansas Crime Victim’s Compensation Board program. If found eligible, the victim may receive reimbursement for medical bills, counseling, funeral costs, crime scene clean up, clothing/bedding loss, and lost wages. The determination of eligibility and reimbursement amount (as well as what loss will be reimbursed) is at the sole discretion of the Kansas Crime Victim’s Compensation Board.

Victims of property crime in Johnson County may also apply for reimbursement through the Johnson County Property Crime Reimbursement Fund. This fund provides reimbursement up to 500 dollars on felony property crime loss and 250 dollars for misdemeanor property crime loss. Eligibility in this program is based upon the crime being charged as a property crime, cooperation with law enforcement and prosecution, there must not be any other means to pay for the repair/replacement of the property, and the loss MUST DIRECTLY result in danger, injury, illness, or loss of livelihood. For more information regarding this program, please contact the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office Victim Assistance Unit at 913-715-3004.

Witness Information

A person may be subpoenaed to come to court if they are the victim of a crime, if they witness a crime, or if they have information related to a crime. A subpoena is a court order that requires a witness to attend court on a designated date and to answer all questions asked by the prosecution or defense. If someone if charged with a crime and you are the victim of that crime, you are a witness for the State of Kansas. A victim advocate will be available to accompany you to court, assist with restitution and victim impact forms, and answer questions about the case.

Witness testimony may be heard on the date listed on the subpoena. The District Attorney’s Office strives to be conscientious of the public’s time. However, it is important to note that the date and time may change due to court delays or the length of testimony from other witnesses. Information on any changes regarding your appearance will be relayed as soon as possible. Additionally, hearings may be rescheduled or canceled, such as when a defendant enters a guilty plea. When trials are rescheduled, outstanding subpoenas still apply and witness are required to attend on the rescheduled dates unless otherwise notified by a member of the District Attorney’s Office. Failure to respond to a subpoena or failure to attend a trial or hearing may result in the court issuing a warrant for the arrest of the subpoenaed witness.

Crime Victim Survey

We need your help in evaluating our services to the citizens of Johnson County. Please take a few minutes to answer the following questions about your contact with our office. Thank you for your help as we try to improve the quality of our services to the citizens of our community.

Take the Survey

Special Programs

The Johnson County District Attorney’s Office Victim Assistance Unit provides various special programs to assist the community at large. These programs vary from directly providing support to victims to increasing community knowledge and awareness of various aspects of the criminal justice system. Please contact the Victim Assistance Unit at 913-715-3004 for more information.

Domestic Violence Information Session

Domestic violence advocates from the Victim Assistance Unit, along with advocates from SAFEHOME (the local domestic violence resource center) provide a daily information session for victims of domestic violence with an emphasis on available protective measures, community resources and safety, and the dynamics of domestic violence. Victims are also provided an opportunity to provide input regarding any relevant concerns and recommendations for needed intervention; which are then provide to a domestic violence court judge for consideration at the defendant's first appearance.

Emergency Cell Phone Distribution

Victims of domestic violence may be eligible to receive an emergency cell phone upon request and availability. The capability of these phones are limited to contacting 911 in case of an emergency and are provided to offer an extra measure of security for individuals who are witnesses in a criminal case or have recently filed protection from abuse or stalking orders through the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office.

ADT Alarm Program

The AWARE (Abused Women’s Active Response Emergency) program is provided by ADT Security Systems and the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office, in coordination with local law enforcement agencies, to provide an in-home security system to victims of domestic violence at no cost to the victim or county.

Community Education and Outreach

The Victim Assistance Unit staff is available to present on a variety of topics concerning the criminal and juvenile justice system within Johnson County, KS. 

Frequent Questions

What happens in a trial?

In a trial, the prosecutor presents the case for the state, attempting to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did commit the crime as charged. The defendant may present their side through the use of an attorney. It is the defendant's choice whether the judge or a twelve person jury is deciding the verdict.

How does a case get dismissed?

If the judge decides that probable cause has not been proven, the court will dismiss the case. This means that all legal action has come to an end, and the defendant is released.

May I watch the preliminary hearing?

Witnesses may watch the proceedings unless excluded from doing so by the court. In any event, witnesses should not discuss their testimony among themselves.

Victims of sexual assault are guaranteed the right to have an attendant of their choice in court to provide support at both the preliminary hearing and trial. However, this support person must not be a witness in the case.

What do I do at a preliminary hearing?

If you are subpoenaed to appear at a preliminary hearing, the Prosecutor may want you to sit in the witness chair and answer questions about who you are and what you know about the case. Give your answers as truthfully as you can. The judge is there to assist you if you do not understand a question and to see that you are treated respectfully.

What is a preliminary hearing?

It is a scheduled courtroom event held in felony cases with testimony under oath, where the judge, the defendant, the defendant's attorney, the prosecutor from the District Attorney's Office and any victim or witness subpoenaed is present. The purpose of the hearing is to establish that a crime has been committed and that the defendant committed it.

What should I do when I receive my subpoena?

Witnesses are notified by subpoena when and where to appear. On the morning of your scheduled court appearance, you should call the telephone number printed on the subpoena. You will then be told the status of your case. This may save you an unnecessary trip to the courthouse.

What if the defense attorney contacts me about the case?

You may discuss the case with the defense attorney if you wish, but you should report the contact to the Johnson County District Attorney in charge of the case.

What if someone threatens me to drop the charges or to not testify?

This person is committing a new crime, whether the harassment occurs before the crime is reported, or during the prosecution of the case. Contact the law enforcement officer in charge of the case immediately. A judge may issue a warrant against the person threatening you. They may also revoke the defendant's bail.

What compensation is available to victims of crimes?

Victims of violent crime, including DUIs or their survivors, may be eligible for state compensation to cover medical expenses, psychological counseling, loss of earnings, or funeral expenses which are incurred as a result of their victimization. If you are a resident of Kansas, the crime occurred within the last two years, and you feel that you qualify for such assistance, please contact the Johnson County Victim Assistance Unit or Kansas Crime Victim Compensation Board.

What happens to the accused?

The person accused is called the defendant. They will make their first appearance before a judge shortly after their arrest or after the criminal complaint is filed. Your appearance at this court hearing is not required.

What is a warrant?

A warrant is an order signed by a judge authorizing the police to arrest a person believed to have committed a crime.

What is a criminal complaint?

A criminal complaint is a statement of facts about an alleged crime which, when filed in court, formally charges a person. These facts are first submitted by local law enforcement agencies. If the evidence submitted is deemed sufficient, a criminal complaint is filed.

What are my rights as a victim?

The law provides many rights to those who are victimized by the criminal acts of others.

See the Victim Assistance – Victim Bill of Rights section on this website for more detail.

What do I do at the trial?

As a witness for the state, you have an important part in the trial. You may be questioned by the prosecutor about who you are and what you know about the case. The defendant's attorney may cross examine you. You may feel during the questioning that your personal motives are doubted, but the process of cross-examination is not meant as a personal attack against you. It is to ensure that all sides of the case are told, and to establish the truth. If you are concerned about what will happen, contact the Victim Assistance Unit.